- 1.Crunoecia irrorata is widely dispersed across Europe, but rare and red-listed in Finland. Its geographical range comprises most of the southern boreal zone in Fennoscandia. The species is confined to springs in the north, but occurs also in lower reaches of headwater streams in central and western Europe. It becomes more rare and less abundant towards the limits of its range across Europe, showing diffusive rarity. Glacial history and climate limit the distribution of the species in the north.
- 2.The most important habitat characteristic for C. irrorata in Finland was the total area of helocrene habitats. Its occurrence was positively related to taxon richness of benthic macroinvertebrates, but not bryophytes. Co-occurrence of C. irrorata with other red-listed spring-dependent taxa was observed, indicating high conservation value of the springs occupied.
- 3.Crunoecia irrorata occurred frequently in moderately disturbed springs, indicating tolerance to human disturbance around springs. However, the effect of the disturbance on population size is not known. Forestry and water and gravel extraction are potential threats to C. irrorata, and only a few of its populations are strictly protected. Therefore, populations of C. irrorata in the boreal zone should be conserved and monitored to ensure the species' survival at the northern limits of its range.
Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.